Fish & Wildlife to get major facelift in New Jersey

Rich Boornazian, assistant commissioner, Natural and Historic Resources at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, announced Wednesday, Dec. 28, a reorganization plan for the state’s Division of Fish & Wildlife, which includes new appointments in the division, along with a special assignment to seek additional revenue sources to support the division’s mission.

Boornazian announced that current Fish & Wildlife Director Dave Chanda has agreed to take on a special assignment as senior policy advisor to the assistant commissioner. His role is to identify and develop revenue opportunities to support the operations and research responsibilities of the Division of Fish & Wildlife.

“During Dave Chanda’s tenure at Fish & Wildlife, he has balanced the division’s budget, generated an additional $2.5 million in annual revenue, and increased participation in wildlife-related recreation,” Boornazian said. “He is the perfect person to lead this important effort to help seek additional resources to better conduct our efforts to protect and promote New Jersey’s native fish and wildlife species.”

Chanda is a 36-year veteran of DEP and has led the Division of Fish and Wildlife for the last 12 years. Under his  leadership, New Jersey has seen recovery of endangered and threatened species, including osprey, bald eagles, and peregrine falcons.

Long-time division veteran Larry Herrighty will become acting director of Fish and Wildlife, pending the recommendation of the New Jersey Fish and Game Council. He joined DEP in 1980 and has served as assistant director for Fish & Wildlife operations since 2007. In those roles, he has helped implement a number of improvements in fish and wildlife issues for DEP and developed the Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy and worked with staff to implement liberalized archery hunting regulations to more effectively manage suburban deer populations.

Dave Golden, currently chief of the Land Management Bureau, will be assistant director of Fish and Wildlife for Operations. In his current role, Golden leads the division’s efforts in managing the state’s Wildlife Management Area System, which comprises more than 348,000 acres in 122 areas across the Garden State.

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